Archive for the ‘Politics and Current Events’ Category.

The Traitors Within

I think the one thing about the Mueller 13 Russian Indictment is that while it was an attack on American and an attempt to mislead, it was mostly on social media, sometimes amplified by Fox News, and they are notorious sources of the real “Fake News”. When somebody sends me an article on Facebook, I ignore it. What was the source? Now I know that the conservative media and President DFF himself wants you to ignore the mainstream media, and yes, sometimes in an attempt to get the news first, they get it wrong, but they correct it and most of the time real journalists vet stories carefully and the best place to get the truth is established newspapers like the NYT, Wall Street Jounal or WaPo. Yes they all have opinions, but that is on the editorial page not the stories in the rest of the paper.

The thing that amazes me is that anyone believes anything they see on Facebook or Twitter posing as real news. Are we really that gullible? What went on in the last election on the Trump side was insanity, and not just his, but truly gullible and ignorant people acting on fiction and nonsense. Is it really that easy? I guess the problem is we are and few people actually read real newspapers anymore and get their news from Fox News and their feeds on their social media. We have forgotten what it means to know something, or at least many of us have.

How did conservative media and conservatives sour the population on science and facts? How did they turn most of their supporters away from news sources that might actually give them the truth? As we sit here and know (well at least some of us do) that the Russians interfered in our election, and of course they impacted the outcome, what about the conservatives that have worked so long to dumb down a large population in the United States to be susceptible to such an attack? You see where where I am going? The Russians certainly attack us, but whether wittingly or not, Republicans made it possible.

Now the question is how do we bring them back to reality? How do you teach people who look for what they want to believe, to look for what is, otherwise called critically thinking? The media helped with all this with he said/she said interviews without an honest broker of facts. Loudest most aggressive wins the day as he out shout the other so he must be right, right? Add to that the press briefings from the White House are full of lies and misrepresentations.  Who can forget the very first one about crowd size?

Sure science can be politicized, but usually by non-scientist, the first and most egregious was the Tobacco Industry which lied to us and miss represented the science to sell us addictive cancer sticks. The right took a page right out of their play book for global warming. Science, if you really understand it is a method that takes predisposition out of the process.  It is called the scientific method.  They don’t hunt just for what they want to find, but what there is to find, and then it is tested and vetted to death.  But the Right Wing Machine has turned science into politics because they don’t like what science shows us.  It does not fit neatly into their view of government.

But once you cast doubt on real science and facts, you have created a monster you cannot control. President DFF is not only attacking science and facts, where he tweets out lies and misrepresentations that are easily exposed just by running video from a few days before, but he is trying to undermine the very agencies that secure our government. Once again the aim is short-sighted, it is to try to survive an investigation into his connections to Russia and probable money laundering. If there was nothing there, why would he care? But he is undermining in his weak-minded followers the very institutions we depend upon for our security. And once again, Republicans have jumped in to help.

So yes, we were attacked by Russians but it should have been noise in the background that no one paid attention to. Instead it most probably changed and election and the root cause of all this is not the Russians, but the right wing attack on our democratic roots that depend on critical thinking, rational debate, facts and science. Yes, they are in fact, the traitors within. Forget the Russians, these are who are the real threat to our country.

13 Russians and Where did that American Exceptionalism Go

First, why charge 13 Russians who will probably never get prosecuted? Of course if they want to go to France, Spain, Germany, or any number of countries we have extradition treaties with they will be at risk of arrest. Still why? Well I think two reasons and the first one was self-defense. Clearly, as Muller and his boss Rosenstein get closer, their jobs are at risk. We have President DFF and apparently about 35%-40% of the population who think the Russia investigation is a shame, just a Democratic sower grapes. Well, I misspoke. 35%-40% believe that because President DFF told them that and Fox News echoes it, but President DFF knows full well they did.

So what Mueller and Rosenstein were up to was laying down a marker. Here is detailed proof that the Russians were meddling with false news, something Fox News would be an expert at, and trying to sway the election away from Hillary Clinton. The detail is, well, detailed. There is no doubt. So what was accomplished was if President DFF moves against either Rosenstein of Mueller, there is no question he is hurting the investigation and trying to stop it. It may not tie his hands because he is an ignorant jackass, and I apologize to all jackasses because the comparison is not fair, may now tie his lackeys the Republican Congress.

The second reason, besides educating and informing the American Public on one piece of the investigation, was to let those he seeks information from, what he already knows, and the detail he knows it. The big elephant in the room is collusion and why. I know that answer and so do you if your brain cells still work. President DFF got hooked on their money when no one else would lend to him, and now they own him. He is a giant Ponzi scheme, and the scheme started to collapse, when in rushed the Russians who needed to launder money and real estate was the go to market. Think about it. As we learned from hearings last week, the President has ordered no investigations or active counter measures to deal with the Russians. There can only be one plausible reason.

Oh wait! This was Obama’s fault! Except Obama did take action and the real question is why hasn’t President DFF. Obama sanction Russia which Flynn was trying to lift. Oh how short our memories are. So the DFF is the president now, sadly, so what is he doing? And what we learned last week was nothing. The FBI and the intelligence agencies has no mandate from the President.

So what is next? Manafort is in deep dodo. His partner in crime is flipping. Here is where the money trail is. Remember Manafort came out of nowhere, unknown to Trump, and all of a sudden he is heading up the campaign during the critical conventions. Say what? Who ordered that? The money trail is the why of collusion. Once you get the why, the collusion itself will fall out and Mueller suggested he was on that trail in his indictment. So we are getting closer and closer, but one has to ask, isn’t this obvious? Why and how is this man still President of the U.S.?

That answer has to do with the Republicans and the, oh let’s call it 35%, of the American population that is just mind numbingly stupid and ignorant (note stupid is a brain unable to be smart, ignorant is a brain that refuses to learn and be informed). I am reminded of a scene in the movie, Bridge of Spies with Tom Hanks. Mr. Hanks plays a real world person, attorney James Donovan who is defending Russian spy Rudolf Able. Mr. Donovan’s home is attacked by good Americans because he is trying to afford Mr. Rudolf not just the appearance of a good defense, by a good defense. Those “good Americans” are the 35% who have no idea what the Constitution really is or what it means. They are the lock her up bunch*.

Now that 35% has always been around, but they have never been in charge. Now they are and their lap dogs are our Republican Congress who it would seem has no morals other than power. So they have hitched their wagons to the DFF and we should not be surprised. When a shooter mowed down 47 kids at Sandy Hook and all we got was “thoughts and payers” and let’s not move to fast to we know what happened, you knew they had sold their souls to the NRA. When you heard it again after the shooting in Florida (it was like a taped replay), you wanted to say, okay, but now do we know what happened at Sandy Hook or Las Vegas? And again, like the Russian attack, it obvious what the problem is, and in kids getting killed IT’S EASY ACCESS TO GUNS.

The data is irrefutable. It’s guns. Global warming, Russians and collusion, flow down, Dreamers or immigration, you name the issue and the data is screaming and we do nothing and we do nothing because of Republicans and purple state Democrats who cannot stand up for what is right, only what serves their short term interest to be re-elected. In the movie I referenced before, the spy, Rudolf Able referred to Donovan as “Standing Man” after a friend of his father’s who no matter how much he was beat by the government, he stood up again till they finally quit. It refers for standing up for something bigger than yourself. That is what America used to be. A place where no problem was too big to take on, we would apply science, data, and our ingenuity and we would overcome.

But somehow we got taken over by the 35%, the deplorables, and Republicans. That is when American exceptionalism died. Well, it is on life support and it is up to us to bring it back. I think maybe the nation has seen enough, but they never fail to disappoint with calls for a more middle of the road approach when the middle is so far right as to be undrivable. Maybe the shooting in Florida and the 13 Russian indictments will wake us up and give us the single issue that defines who works for us, and who works against us. I can only hope.

*Remember lock her up? Hillary and the emails where it turned out she was careless with some very minor classified information and hurt no one, and she had no intent to reveal secrets. Now we have the White House allowing people with questionable temporary security clearances that the FBI won’t grant security clearances because they are risks seeing the most secret of our secrets. Do you hear chants of lock him up? Yes they are deplorable and most probably unredeemable and we should not care. No they are not worth listening to. They elected a moron.

Oh F*ck Me in the Heart!

So I am quickly recovering from Shingles so today I want to do a round of Yoga (I am a brick so it is sort of Yoga), and weight lifting. And my usual routine is to turn on the news when I am doing this. BIG MISTAKE! They are talking about mental illness and better identification of potential shooters. You could rerun a tape from the last major shooting. Same bull shit. Nothing is going to change.

First of all ask yourself if we have more deranged kids than other countries, and we don’t, so why are we the nation of these tragedies? Easy access to military grade hardware.

Second there are a ton of kids who go through destructive cycles, are we going to monitor them all and are we going to become a police state? Most will never act on their dark moods. Once again in a destructive out of control mood easy access to guns makes this life ending.

Third, which is the go to argument for those who do not want to address the real problem (Republicans), we need a better mental health system. Yes we do, but who is it again is intent on slashing funding for those kind of things so they can dole out tax cuts to the wealthy. And other industrial countries have better systems than ours, but still, that is just eye wash. You simply cannot identify every shooter while you violate the civil rights of the rest. It is about that thing they don’t want to talk about, because it is political, the easy access of guns. Note the argument, we need to understand better what happened before we decide to do nothing. WHAT HAPPENED WAS EASY ACCESS TO MILITARY GRADE HARDWARE, AND LARGE CAPACITY MAGAZINES!

Please turn off the TV because they are rerunning the last bullshit from the last shooting and until we get angry about guns, mental illness, surveillance, and better treatment is just smoke up our asses. I am sorry to be so crude, but I am really, really angry about this moronic conversation, asking why, why, why, when it has absolutely no value to the solution to the problem. Why did the Las Vegas shooter kill all those people. We still don’t know and never will. He was nuts. He got military grade weapons and killed people. Give me a break. It is guns, guns, guns. As one poster I have seen put it: People don’t make People drunk, beer does. Well crazy people don’t kill people, the guns they get their hands on do. When will we act?

What is There to Say?

Some wonderful kids no longer have the gift of life, love, sunsets, warm beaches, children, or hope. Some parents now know the hurt that never goes away. That last thing a parent ever wants to do is bury their own children. Why? Because we are addicted to guns. President DFF’s thought and prayers is bull shit. If they cared a wit, they would do something about guns and our easy access to them. The Florida Police Chief tells us we have to be wary and report strange people. All teenagers are strange people at one time or another. The issue is their easy access to military grade weapons. And we do nothing.

Guns are a funny thing. We think if we have them they empower us. Let’s just be honest. If you target shoot you fantasize the real thing, shooting somebody. And we get addicted to it. Games where we murder wantonly and TV shows where the gun is the great equalizer. It falsely emboldens us. When you get that you know open carry laws in urban settings are nuts. Our mass murder rate compared to the rest of the world is about the easy access of guns period. The fix is simple, end it. But what you are going to get is thoughts and payers and more mass killings.

I could go through every gun nut argument starting with the 2nd Amendment argument that does not give them a right to arms, and demonstrate the lunacy of it. But I have done that and so have millions of others to no effect. So now when there is news of another mass shooting, I just turn it off. We caused it by our inaction and we learn nothing so why bother with watching the details and feeling their pain. We do nothing. After Sandy Hook I think we saw the Republican Party of today when they block any action. We should have known they had already gone over the precipice into the oblivion of irrationality. President DFF and their failure to act should have been predicted then.

But wait! We could make schools look like prisons with a guard in the tower and a double gate with a metal detector to make sure no one gets in (or out). Look, there is George Washington Middle School. See the concertina wire on the walls and the search lights. Ah, freedom from gun violence in America, except for states that let teachers carry. Now there is a wonderful idea. What if the teach goes ballistic or a kid gets the gun. Then they are all trapped inside to die. Wouldn’t if just be smarter to get guns out of the hands of most people. The use of it to defend yourself is so rare compared to the slaughter we see with guns just in the hands of kids.

There are arguments for gun ownership I certainly buy. But urban areas are different animals than rural areas and even in urban areas, access to guns has wiped out whole communities. And yet we can buy them like lollipops which is insane. And why again is a semi-automatic rifle something anyone except the military (that militia the 2nd Amendment talked about) should have access to? Nothing will change until we get rid of Republicans and purple state Democrats. Or get rid of money in politics. Open carry my ass. Thoughts and prayers you can shove up your…

Oh, How Democracy Crumbles

See the articles about Bob Corker rethinking re-election? Of course he would have to be a President DFF boy. Ah, but what better way to spend your aging days than in the Senate kissing goodbye everything you ever stood for? It seems to be the way of Republicans these days. Remember all that fiscal conservatism? Kiss that baby goodbye with the Tax Gut bill. Oh wait, it is starve the beast so they can get rid of all those pesky programs like Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid. Can you say goodbye  SNAP (Food Stamps), which primarily helps kids and old people. Who needs them? Of course they are going to empty the Treasury and there will be no infrastructure except give-aways to capitalist cronies. Hey, pay for flush, what a great idea.

Meanwhile as Republicans totally co-opt themselves and the nation, the courts are trying to right the wrong in gerrymandering and their state legislature are trying to attack those courts. If you did not know any better you would think this is about some banana republic in South America, although these days they are run better than we are. The White House has become such a mockery of truth and justice (lies and deceit is closer to it) and the shame is that we just shrug. If any of this had happened under a Clinton administration imagine the public flogging and impeachment. Ah, but it is President DFF and we are attaching ourselves to him and his ignorance to pass our conservative agenda that will bankrupt the country.

I love the Olympics because it is a melting pot of diversity and exceptionalism. Could we learn from that? Not on your life. It is time to restrict immigration and become the white nation. Except every economist you want to talk to will tell you if we want GDP growth we need immigration. Maybe all those white supremists will lay down their robes/ropes/guns and get a job picking fruit, you think? No, we are on the precipice of the the big fall, just as in the Bush Administration, but not derivatives this time. We have authorized massive tax cuts to the wealthy spending our Treasury on nothing, probably driving up inflation, creating and unsustainable deficit just when we should be raising taxes, we are limiting our work force, and the me only trade policy is causing other nations to leave us behind as they make their own deals.

So keep voting Republican because they are the party of self-discipline and fiscal responsibility. See any sarcasm here? The only way to save our nation is to throw them all out. No one who says they are a Republican should be elected because while they feign disdain of that fat dumb f*ck as our president, they vote to enable him and his co-opted party. Oh, and don’t blame Democrats (So what are you going to do to stop them?), they are the minority because voters through them out for this mindless bunch and there is nothing they can do until you put them back in a super majority. So either admit you were a fool to vote Republican or kiss your country goodbye. The rate of destruction is increasing as I write. Just the mid-week blues.

Chloe Kim and America

I, as I am sure millions of others, watched Chloe Kim win Gold on the half pipe. I am an ex-snow boarder (age and knees) so I was amazed at her last almost perfect run. But that is not what amazes me most and brings tears to my eyes. What amazes me most is the diversity I see from the American team and the respect all the competitors have for one another. It is the opposite of what President DFF and his Republican cohorts want for America. Think about the luge silver medalist, Chis Mazdzer, who almost gave up the sport but was helped by a Russian in an earlier competition when he lent Chris his sled. That is an amazing act of kindness. That is most of the world where instead of them or us, it should be all of us. That is the America we need to get back

Watching the Americans march onto the field in the opening ceremony was a display of what makes America great. There was so much diversity, you had no idea what country this team was from except with so much diversity it must be America. And think about Chloe Kim whose father immigrated here. Make no mistake about Republican aims, they are looking mostly for white Europeans in their immigration policies. Yes, they want to purify the country. We have no idea who will be the next Chloe Kim or the next Elon Musk. America is the country where we welcome diversity at all levels of education and abilities. It should be a country where you can be what you want to be. It is that very immigrant diversity that makes us what we are and allows us to grow.

President DFF does not get that. His demonization of immigrants utilizes anecdotal examples to his deplorable base that do not represent the vast majority of immigrants, The immigrant population when compared with non-immigrants are better educated, employed, and commit far less crime. So watch the Olympics and just look at a person and guess what country they are from. When it comes to America, you will be stumped. That is what makes us great. Let’s keep it that way and get rid of the real threat to our country, Republicans and President DFF.

The Equivalency Argument

A good friend sent me an article everyone who still has thinking brain cells should read. It is about how the Right and Left are not two sides of the same thing, but totally different animals. There is no middle ground. It is an argument I have been making for a long time, although Brian Butler, the author, makes a much more focused and rational argument. I only bring this up because I constantly get attacked as being too shrill and you will never reach the other side or change minds by calling them out. We need to listen more. The answer which if you read this article and understand it, is that there are no minds to change. The two sides are about two entirely different things.

This is important when the false equivalency of both sides do it is thrown out there. It is important, as Mr. Butler points out, when the press and newspapers try to accommodate both sides for readership or viewership. The reality when they do this is that they create a false reality of equivalence. In fact they have to accommodate the Right’s distortion of reality and when they do they simply become the loud speaker for nonsense like the paranoia of Obama and Hillary’s emails, easily proven false, but the noise was made and it cannot be taken back. That is the Rights agenda, co-opt mainstream media.

Our Democracy was based upon liberal principles of the Enlightenment. Make no mistake, Republicans of today reject those principles. Here is Mr. Butler:

Outside of the specific American context, the word liberal describes something more abstract and less partisan. Internationally, it describes a philosophical approach to organizing society that is capacious enough to include people who believe governments should provide robust safety nets to citizens, and people who believe taxes should be low and the poor left to fend for themselves. What those people share is a common commitment to basic Enlightenment-era ideals like equality, democracy, and empiricism…

Democratic politicians, liberal activists, and journalists have different purposes and respond to different incentives, but they are all liberal in that global sense. Two decades after Newt Gingrich redefined what it meant to be a Republican, it is clear that Republican politicians, conservative activists, and the right wing media have become adherents to a fundamentally different political tradition…

The job of the mainstream media isn’t to cast judgment on people with different value systems, but journalists can’t do their jobs well if they aren’t aware that the value systems of mainstream journalism and American conservatism are different and in conflict. It should be perfectly possible to apply the neutral rules of modern journalism to both American political parties while accepting that Democrats (and journalists and scientists) descend from the enlightenment tradition, while Republicans (and their allies in conservative media) descend from a different, illiberal tradition—and that this makes the parties behave in different ways.

In other words, the Right no longer adheres to the principles of the Enlightenment that is the basis of our Constitution and democracy. I have written copious blogs about how the Right does not believe in democracy at all, but in this short analysis by Mr. Butler he shows how they have veered off. There is no middle ground in these two belief systems, one based upon elites and subjugating the masses as second class citizens who should fend for themselves, and the other who believes in strong safety nets and leveling the playing field. If you doubt this think of what is happening to Dreamers and immigrants, how we have turned ICE into a Gestopo force, how gerrymandering and voter suppression is ripe in Red country. Think about how Republicans refuse to bring up votes on things the majority want. And it goes on and on.

That is why in my last blog I said we have crossed a line. There is no more argument to make with Republicans or said more fairly what has become of the Republican Party today, simply a line to be drawn so we know where the battle line is and to remove all of them from power. There is no more accommodation because if we do, we lose who we are and what we stand for. That is what this next election is about. I do not write this blog to change minds, but to wake those minds up that can still be woken, We are no longer in a rational debate. That ended for Republicans many years ago. It is just time Democrats woke up to that and entered the battle. The one thing that distinguishes us from Republicans is that we are fighting for truth and honesty. They shunned that years ago.

I Am So Ashamed

I watch Mike Pious Pence and I am disgusted. Yes North Korea is a brutal horrid place. And yes they are developing weapons that threaten the whole world. But here we are at the Olympics and it is about the athletes and the competition, not regimes and we can’t get off our ass and welcome the North Korean team. Aren’t we bigger than that? North Korea may become a pariah of the world, but for this moment can it not be about nationalistic posturing and be about the common human experience of competition and giving it your all. President Moon may have it right. It will be the interaction of North Korea with the rest of the world that will be the biggest weapon we have to bring them out of the dark. And America stands and turns their back on them. I am so ashamed. We are being destroyed and soiled by Trump and his cronies. Hopefully our athletes will engage for a moment of human to human, something the Administration of President DFF has never experienced or we would not be expelling Dreamers. I am so ashamed.

WTF Friday

As we normalized President DFF, it is also how we normalize WTF moments. In fact they just become news tidbits among all the news tidbits. But still we have them. The biggest one is those fiscal conservative Republicans just passed a massive spending bill that raises our debt massively. If you are not confused by the propaganda machine you will note that that has been their modus operandi since Ronald Reagan. It is kind of hard to be the party of big military spending, tax cuts, and the magical supply side economics and do anything but blow up the budget. Not sure how they got the reputation of fiscal hawks other than they cried loudest about deficit spending but did the most to ensure it.

The next WTF moment will come when we hit the debt ceiling, the amount we have agreed is the debt we will pay for (we already spent it, see above). We will see if the hypocrisy reins supreme if they start pounding their chests on this one. This is one of those things we should have changed a long time ago, if you authorized the spending then you authorized the raising of the debt ceiling to pay our bills. I have argued before that Republican’s fixation on debt and trying to make the micro economy the same as the macroeconomy of our economy equal is disingenuous, but there is an element of truth to it in the details:

As we learned from John Maynard Keynes, deficit spending should be countercyclical. When economic growth goes down, deficits should go up, and vice versa. The idea is that the government can pick up the slack when private demand lags (as was the case back in 2009).”

But they are doing just the opposite here. Here is the thing. In a economy we should be raising taxes right now if we really need all this spending. Now I am all for a strong military, but President DFF and his cohorts confuse a strong military with a strong country as if bullying is the only tactic of power. We are becoming weakened in the world, not because we got the biggest baddest weapons, but because we are becoming economically and ethically weak under President DFF and his boys. Note he now wants a military parade to show off our shiny weapons while we withdraw from the stage of economic deals to strengthen our power and influence in the rest of the world.

And here is really a WTF moment for conservatives if they want to admit it. Here in California under the leadership of a very pragmatic liberal, Jerry Brown, we are putting money away for a rainy day.  Yes there are Californians who don’t like the gas tax or the higher taxes, but they are the next wave of fools that vote Republican, and they are a minority.  When things got better we did not “give the money back to all those hard working rich people,” we started putting it away for when the economy turns south as it may be doing now. It is because Democrats have always been the party of more careful budgeting. The best way to talk about debt is a percentage of GDP and here are the facts:

Republican presidents after Eisenhower have increased the federal debt as a percentage of gross domestic product by a total of 60%. Democratic presidents have reduced the debt as a percentage of GDP by a total of 9%.

President Obama is the only Democratic President during whose time in office the debt has risen relative to GDP. The data extends to the end of FY2014 (September 2014). President Obama’s bar will almost certainly drop by the end of his presidency, as GDP growth is relatively high and the deficit is relatively low. 2/5ths of the increase during President Obama’s presidency occurred during the first year while the country was still in the midst of the Great Recession.

Of course President Obama inherited a failed economy in 2009 and safety net, stimulus, and war spending (from the Bush War) did not help. But the bottom line when you look at numbers and you care about debt and deficits, you are better off under Democrats.

We need to be raising taxes right now, not cutting them. Gas tax should go up to pay for improvements to our transportation systems. The recent tax cut should be repealed so that the wealthy pay their fair share, and we should be investing in infrastructure improvements. In fact, there is a bigger picture here if we are willing to look at it. Economic inequality. We need to more fairly share our gains so our citizens have the buying power to keep our economy self sustaining. But I am spitting into the wind. People who believe in sounder budgets vote for Republicans because they make the most noise about it, but never deliver. WTF.

Well we will have another disaster like the Bush years and then Democrats will regain power. Hopefully this time they won’t think the answer is to reach across the aisle to find middle ground solutions that fail and put the fools back in power. They should just turn away from that approach and leave them in the dust of history’s failed lessons. I can hope.

Flim Flam Man

I believe it was Abraham Lincoln who said, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” Enter President DFF. That 32% base is some of the people all of the time. Back in 2016 he was approaching that all of the people some of the time, but his all was still not a majority of voters. But now I think reality, who like Mother Nature, is a bitch, is going to demonstrate to the flim-flam man and his party that you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

Remember on Monday when President DFF went to somewhere where like in the State of the Union took credit for the high stock market (while stock prices were plunging), the amazing jobless rate, rising wages from the tax cut, and his new infrastructure plan? Wow, what a man, except it is all flim-flam. Let’s start with rising wages. He trotted out some anecdote who had got a raise and all is wonderful. Okay, I am about facts and data and here is a fact check from the Washington Post:

Egged on by the White House, corporate America has spent the past few weeks touting how it is sharing its big Trump tax cut with employees in the form of bonuses and pay increases — an apparent validation of the trickle-down approach to economics espoused by the president and his Republican allies.

But when we look at the numbers, we see the opposite: The nation’s workers are getting woefully little, at least relatively speaking. Peeking beyond the PR, our analysis finds that major corporations are planning to spend more than 30 times what they are putting in the wallets of employees on buying back their own stock — a practice solely meant to lift the fortunes of shareholders.

To get a sense of how the pie is being divided, we collaborated with Emre Gomec of the Academic-Industry Research Network to tally the sums of commitments from the 44 companies in the S&P 500 stock index that, according to Americans for Tax Reform, are giving their employees a bonus or a raise because of the new law. When you add it all up, you get about $5.2 billion — $3.7 billion in one-time bonuses and an estimated $1.5 billion in annual wage increases.

But that total pales in comparison with the $157.6 billion in stock buybacks announced by 34 S&P 500 companies since early December, when the tax bill passed the Senate. Companies typically purchase their own shares in a bid to bump up the price — a move that tends to please Wall Street and swells the compensation of chief executives, who are paid largely in stock.

Oh and let us not disregard what has not been tallied yet on the expenditures from the tax savings in automation. But it gets better. President DFF said the following in his speech last Monday: “Something that I’ve been talking about for two years — campaigning, and everyone said, ‘You’ll never do it’ — after years of wage stagnation, wages — so what happened two days ago and a month ago — wages are now, for the first time in many years, rising. In fact, more companies are pursuing pay increases right now than at any time in the last long period of time — they actually say, ’in the 21st century.’ Can you imagine that? It’s amazing what people with some good ideas can do. It’s amazing what we’ve all done together.”

Except again it is a big lie. Again from the Washington Post:

According to The Fact Checker’s database of Trumpian claims, the president in his first year eight times falsely suggested that wages were finally rising because of his policies. He also made a similar claim in the State of the Union address.

But there is little dispute among economists that wage growth — after being essentially being flat for years — started to pick up again in 2014, after reaching a post-Great Recession low. In other words, Trump is simply blowing smoke when he claims that when he was campaigning that people thought it was impossible for wages to rise again. Wages were already increasing, though the increases were lower than what would be expected in a mature recovery and the impact was uneven, as shown by this chart from the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution.

For the purposes of this fact check, real wage growth for most workers in 2017, Trump’s first year as president, actually lagged the last four years of Barack Obama’s term. “Real wage growth in 2017 for production nonsupervisory workers in 2017 was 0.2 percent, the lowest since 2012,” Shambaugh said. “For the bulk of workers, purchasing power did not rise very much in 2017.”

Okay, let’s move on to the wonderful infrastructure bill that I have told you before is a sham. First he gave away all the money we needed to infrastructure improvements in the Great Tax Gut. Now here is the plan as it now looks, again from the Washington Post:

Despite calling for a $1.5 trillion boost in infrastructure spending, Trump is proposing just $200 billion in federal funding. The remaining $1.3 trillion is expected to come from a combination of state and local governments and the private sector. Yet in most places with the greatest need for new infrastructure, cash-strapped governments won’t be able to pay for it without raising taxes. Meanwhile, the private equity firms and foreign sovereign wealth funds that are likely fill the void will undoubtedly demand guaranteed returns in the form of, say, new tolls. The reliance on private investment also creates, as Paul Krugman writes, the potential for “an orgy of crony capitalism.”

You know, toll roads everywhere and instead of taxes to pay for it, you will just get bills for flushing your toilet. And we won’t own any of it. The ultimate flim-flam man can full some of the people some of the time and all of the people some of the time, but he can’t fool all the people all of the time and when they finally feel all this in their pocket book, well then things will change. Reality, facts, and data are a bitch.